Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is any clothing, accessories, equipment, or substance which protects a person from suffering injuries during mishaps. As such, equipments such as these are indispensable in industries dealing with heavy machinery, manufacturing, medical, and others requiring the handling of dangerous substance and equipment. It can also refer to those protective clothing and equipment used in sports. The primary reason for PPE is to reduce occupational hazards to ensure the safety of employees.
The construction industry largely utilizes PPEs in the workplace. In this industry, it is always a prime objective to complete their construction projects safely. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Training courses which provides instructions promoting work safety and teaching OSHA compliant safety measures. As such, many construction companies hire properly trained technicians and safety advisors in order to utilize the information gleaned from such training courses. From these, the trained construction technicians and advisors can then instruct the other workers on the intricacies and importance of personal protective equipment essentials.
According to safety standards, the exterior of construction sites shall be barricaded with orange construction fences, chain link fences or warning tape. Inside, signs shall be posted conspicuously especially on restricted areas. Moreover, there should be signs indicating the kind of PPE to wear when entering specific areas. Among the most common PPE required when entering construction sites are, hard hats, safety goggles, long pants, safety vest, and steel toe boots. These PPE should be worn at all times when inside the construction area. When the working elevation is above 4 feet, the appropriate fall protection gear should be used.
While the use of PPE in hazardous industries like construction is mandated by law, it should be considered as more than mere rules to be followed in order to avoid civil or criminal liability. It should be remembered that the use of PPE will ultimately benefit the workers themselves. It will save your life. A construction worker making use of complete PPE will be greatly protected against common mishaps that happen in their workplace. It can also lessen the risks of serious injury or even death. Imagine your head being the target of a falling steel bar or hollow block. Accidents like this results to serious medical emergencies or even death. Such misfortune can be avoided by simply wearing a hard hat. The use of boots will prevent the worker from stepping on rusty protruding nails. Steel toe boots can prevent heavy falling objects such as hammers from crushing the worker’s toes. Moreover, wet condition PPE is required to be provided by construction contractors to be able to promote the workers’ safety even in bad weather conditions.
Generally, employers are considered liable by the law when their employees suffer injury in the course of performing the latter’s functions. Employers should always make sure that personal protective equipment is used by each and every employee. Strict rules must be imposed in order to make such precautionary measures stick to the minds of the workers. Since general contractors are responsible for injuries sustained by their employees as well as the visitors in the construction area, it is recommended to notify residents and pedestrians around the construction sites by the use of signboards or by advising the local information service. Specific site safety information shall be provided at each section of the construction site.